mmemories of a clouded history

treasures, oddballs,  nostalgia and recollections requiring escape ..... and imagination




Treasures ...  

The most discouraging feature of the mania for book-collecting is, that it grows by what it feeds on,
and becomes the more insatiable the more it is gratified.
  - - -
 William Mathews



By Samuel L. Clemens. Illustrated. The Goldsmith Publishing Company - Chicago - New York
That Mark Twain guy better look out, he musta stole his story from this Clemens guy!
Hard cover, 412 pages, all browned with age, but very good condition, print is clear. No references to Mark Twain. 18 illustrations - initials EWK at first one. Explanatory at beginning about dialects used.

Also written Inside - “Merry Christmas to Adolph,
from Mrs Warn 1940."

(Didn't Adolph also get Poland for Christmas in 1940?)

One of the most endearing stories ever written.

"... but they was pretty close to me then, and sung out and begged me to save their lives - said they hadn't done nothing, and was being chased for it - said there was men and dogs a-coming."

<... and other verses by Robert Service ... published 1911 by Edward Stern & Co., Inc. Philedelphia
copyright 1907 by Edward Stern.

"This was the song of the parson's son, as he lay in his bunk alone ... ere the fire went out and the cold crept in, and his blue lips ceased to moan, and the hunger maddened malemutes had torn him flesh from bone."


The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Spell of the Yukon






Once I built a railroad .....  

 ..... made it run, made it race against time  whoa, slow down, this is only a hobby.
Right? Besides, we have no engine.

Hey, that wouldn't have stopped J.P. Morgan.
These are not virtual trains blipping around on your puter screen, these are real, metal you can touch. They screech and rattle.

These are what hobos named Wily Jack and Tracker Bill ride on to Portland in. That's an Emperor of the North boxcar right there, Bud.

An' watch out fer them steel-fist harness bulls, or you be hittin' the grit.

... You could buy this railroad too,

         without landing on the square. 

.... made it run, made it race against time .....

...... brother can you spare a dime?


lyric from my Country Western song     -     Nashville Tennessee

" Ridin' in a boxcar, trackin' down to Tennesee, got myself some buddies, playin' music just like me,

we ain't good lookin' but you'll know when we're in town, goin' to turn 'em, right upside down,

we're on our way to Nashville Tennesee."



Three oddball musicians try to make it to Nashville

get it at Amazon Books



excerpt from Ch. 3

They walked on a bit until Jackson stopped.

“Let’s make a buck here right now, Elijah. I’ll start, it’ll be easy, you’ll see.” Jackson took out his violin, put his hat on the sidewalk and stood against a brick building, started playing a melodic Tennessee Waltz. Elijah just watched a moment, shook his head and finally tossed a few coins into the hat, mostly nickels and dimes. “Prime the pump, man. Doncha know?” He began strumming his banjo with a very thin smile.

The two were building a rapport between them, although somewhat antagonistic.

They began attracting attention and people paused to listen. Jackson was hopeful until a police cruiser passed and the officer stared at them, backed up and stopped in the street, clicked his blue flashers on. He slowly got out, put his immaculate hat on and came over to them, his trouser crease razor sharp, shirt crisp and flat. Jackson stopped playing, suddenly realizing they were standing in front of a bank.

“You boys from these parts?” His squinty eyes went from Jackson’s eyes to Elijah’s eyes, down to his clothing, over to Jackson’s clothes and back up to Jackson’s eyes.

Elijah discreetly strapped his banjo on again not returning the policeman’s gaze.

Jackson answered, “No Sir, we’re just on our way through. Not staying, Sir.”

Elijah took in the policeman’s perfect uniform and chose to remain quiet.

“Well, you need a permit here before musicians can play on our streets for cash. You audition to get a license from City Hall. They give you a paper permission and then you apply for a place to stand and bless our good citizens with your music. Or make doggie balloons or juggle tennis balls. Even the streets are not free in these times. You can’t ask for money until you get all that. You understand, fellas?”

His look told them exactly what to answer.

“Yes Sir, we do understand. We were just hoping to get a buck or two for dinner.”

“So you are vagrants? With no visible means of support?”

Jackson meekly held his fiddle up for inspection.

Elijah could see where the conversation was going, spoke up, “No Sir, we be vagabonds, not vagrants, we gonna be vagabondin’ outa here right soon, thank ya, Sir.”

The policeman stared at them, “Stay.”

He walked back to his car, returned with a small evidence envelope, stooped to pick up Jackson’s hat and dumped the coins into the envelope, plopped the hat back onto Jackson’s head. “You are making a donation to the Police Wives Benevolent Fund. I know you want to support the cause, they do wonderful work in the community. And I can issue you a receipt if you ask me to, which goes along with a citation for performing without a license. Or I can get on with my patrol and trust you two got the message.”

Elijah said quickly, “Yes Sir, we be happy to contribute to them wives, Sir. We don’ need nothin’ else. Thank you Officer. Sir.”

“Don’t be asking our nice people for money, boys. Keep your hats on.” He went back to his car, placed his own pristine hat lovingly on the passenger seat and drove off.

Elijah answered, “You have a safe day, Sir.”

Jackson and Elijah stared after him, Jackson poking his hat back into shape. “I thought he was fixin’ to get extra handcuffs.”

“Politeness counts, Jackson.”

“I see that, man.”

“It’ll be easy ya said.”

“Just bad luck he came by.”

“You got a rain cloud over yer head, man.”

“Coincidence is all.”

“That money was mine too. Nobody fluttered no dollar down to yer hat. You didn’t put anythin’ into the preformance.”

“All right all right. But that was one of my beggin’ on the street songs.”

“Sure it was. Tennessee Waltzin’ in Arkansas never works.”

“Maybe should’a been the Possum Rag.”

“Never heard o’ that one.”

“I’ll be working on it.”

“I believe ya will.”

They began walking again, Elijah added, “You talked me into this, Jackson.”


from Nashville Dreams






Captain Sparks book ...

How to fly. Complete A.B.C. Illustrated Instructions! It has 11 pages and an ad for rice Sparkies on the back with Commander Sparkes hisself and Lil' Orphan Annie!  (you could pencil in her pupils) Arf!

There IS a section in this book on LANDING.  

Homeland Security in the US has also asked that we don't give it to anyone with scraggly beards and wild eyes. Even if they DO have a Visa. In Canada CSIS and the RCMP said it is illegal to discriminate against scraggly beards or lousy aircraft pilots so please DO let them see the book.   







Sometimes it's not about collecting at all, it's just not being able to part with some things ... RCW



  Gold pocket watches

The Vigilant.

       Great name for a beautiful watch like this one.

            Gold and silver pocket watches in the hunter style and others are
                 great collectors' items.

                    There's something about the old world craftsmanship of these
                       wonderful old timepieces that was once routine ...

                       yet is rarely seen in today's plastic world. They are art in design.










Li'l metal motorbikers - circa 1930s

These are stunt riders! Don't try this at home! The teeny bikers are less than 2 inches long, all metal, seem like hard rubber tires,
probably made in Britain. They sorta look like WWII dispatch riders on a secret mission.
The bike COULD be a 1931 AJS33 or more likely a 1931 Ariel Square-Four judging by the 'fishtail' exhaust
and the gear lever alongside the tank on the right side. A stunning bike when introduced in 1931.


Oddballs ...  




      Postal Telegraph circa 1940s

Postal Telegraph. Sir William Stevenson, codename Intrepid, Canada's own spymaster, might have sent urgent messages on this machine when he was parachuted one cloudless night in 1940 into occupied France and had only fleeting minutes under that staircase to alert Britain that . . . (to be continued) ... --- ... dots and dashes in the air
... --- ... spies among us everywhere
  Be careful.
- ... ...- -.-- .. - -. --- .--
All metal, about 8 " X 5".


April in Paris


It was Paris, 1941.

rive gauche, the 7th arrondissement, on the rue Madeleine, in that tiny hotel des Pins, under the stairway - filled with the fragrance of tulip and the danger of war ...

We touched lips only a moment, you said au revoir but not goodbye ...
chaleur still fires my lingering heart ........

Will you be there this April?






Las Vegas Bandit


Brother, can you spare a dime?

Las Vegas one armed bandit bank. Is that a joke or what? Tell Tommy Lee Jones and David Jansen that we found the one armed man! I put a Canadian dime in it and it got stuck. Worth 7.8 cents, no wonder. But it works.
Psst! And don't tell anyone, okay? But at the back is this cool little round thingy that can be unscrewed with a penny, and you can then get ALL the money out of it! Next time you're in Vegas, check them out, maybe the big ones have that too. Don't get caught. And don't tell, remember - what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Especially your money.





Can one write a literate memory about a favorite uncle's flatulence?

Meet the Bertrameister here




Old WWII Decal  


The decal is about 6 inches square, is in excellent condition and has the original sleeve packaging.

Churchill is probably well preserved too.  Well smoked and well scotched. 
He said once -  "The water was not fit to drink. To make it palatable, we had to add whisky. By diligent effort, I learnt to like it." And a doctor attending him after he was knocked down by a car New York in 1931, Otto C. Pickhardt, actually issued a medical note that Churchill's convalescence "necessitates the use of alcoholic spirits especially at mealtimes,"  specifying 250 cc per day as the minimum.

FDR drank brandy and would never leave for anywhere on a Friday. He left Earth on a Thursday.


Way better than a CAT sticker.  





Nostalgia ....




Vintage metal toys

Dinky Toys and London Toys. The red Wheel truck is TriAng, England as is the Minic Royal Mail van. The ambulance is Dinky Toy of England and the others are all London Toys, made in Canada. I love the front skirted wheels on the yellow coupe!  Don't try any U-Turns!


Cool ambulance, check out the suicide door! Wouldn't it be great to have this real car today? Way better than a modern SUV. It must have been through WWII, look at that schrapnel damage! And the windows blown out too. 

Probably driven by a British girl of the Women's Royal Volunteer Service ignoring her fear and danger to save lives. The women recruited to the service were usually from the privileged and wealthy as most women could not drive in those days. They responded and served with resolve and valor during the blitz

Queen Elizabeth II who was a truck mechanic and ambulance driver is their Patron.

The W.R.V.S. still has over 50,000 volunteers. 


Queen Elizabeth is no wimp.

Keep Calm

Very Lynn


Vera Lynn "The White Cliffs of Dover" m

The memories from those dangerous years have such meaning and emotion. But is the turmoil of today leaving memories that will last as long and be as stirring and vivid after 75 years. This song meant so much to so many. We can only listen to the 'Forces' Sweatheart', Vera Lynn and just wait and see.










Felix gif


I love Felix. Didn't know where else to put him, but he IS a childhood memory.

Felix the Cat had a humble beginning as a mischievous little cat as first conceived by New Jersey cartoonist Otto Messmer. In no time at all he was more popular than movie stars and world leaders of the same era. Felix is considered the first true movie cartoon star. His debut appearance was in a short film in the early 1900's called "Feline Follies", way sooner than Mickey Mouse. His squat, black body and huge, wide eyes and grin were instantly recognizable worldwide, mesmerizing millions with his antics.

During the early days of television development it was necessary to monitor and adjust the quality of the transmitted picture in order to get the best definition. To do this, engineers required an 'actor' to constantly be under the burning studio lights as they tweaked and sharpened the image. Felix, already a movie star, fit the bill perfectly. As a paper maché  creature he appeared in RCA's first experimental television transmissions in 1928 and began a television career that spanned decades. Felixround


Felix the Cat endeared himself to everyone in an era of innocence and marvel at an unfolding and unthreatening technology.

I regret tossing out those old Felix the Cat comics now. Don't you?







Leedy Olympian Banjo


Called a Leedy Olympian long-necked 4 string plectrum banjo by the old gentleman who replaced the head a few years ago. (silicon now) It is in great condition, made around 1927 in Chicago. None of the varnish is worn off. Mother-of-Pearl inlays along the neck with what looks like ebony under the frets. Wonderful cut scroll work on parts of the metal. Could be shined but I am leaving it alone so as not to screw anything up. No backboard thingy but it sounds great.  Stephen Foster anyone?  Only the Fosters, you say?


Ol' man river, he mus' know sumpin'  but don't say nuthin'

....... Oscar Hammerstein

Elderly man river, he must know something, but does not say anything

....... Stan Freeberg






Ukulele deal

" ... If you like a ukulele lady, ukelele lady like a you ....."
uke How much easier could it be? Is Fletcher Christian around here somewhere?
Well look at this, a little ukulele, sort of made of hardboard or something. Stradie never ever made these things. Sounds pretty good though ....
But wait! Here's the real deal ... an Islander Uke Chord Master! You got Arthuritus? Just press the buttons. Easy! Standard tuning too.  Arthur don't care.
I think it belonged to some girl named Pat Pending, I see it inscribed on there.

" .... If you like to linger where it's shady, ukulele lady linger too ..." 


© Richard Whiting & Gus Kahn          
Arlo Guthrie Uke

INFO: If you're visiting Maui, and you want the real goods,  go here to get a beautifully Hawaiian made uke - my friend Willi got one and she rooks marverous holding it -    Mele Ukulele - 1750 Kaahumanu Avenue, PO Box 1681, Wailuku, Maui, HI 96793   ....  -  AND you can go here to hear the greatest ukulele player not in Hawaii, Jake Shimabukuro, playing George Harrison's While My Guitar Gently Weeps -  truly amazing.



I bet your old memories of a uke were never like this ....


Ukulele weeps by Jake Shimabukuro from Patrick Bois on Vimeo.


.....and if that didn't make you forget Don Ho, nothing will.




 ... and did you know that you pronounce every vowel in Hawaiian?  So that famous State Fish in the song is sung as -   humuhumunukunukuapua'a




excerpt from my novel, A Place in the Sky ... at Pu’uhonua-o-Honaunau, Place of Refuge on Hawaii, Big Island
   It was dark. One of those rare Hawaiian nights that holds a foreboding as though the sleep of the gods has been imprudently disturbed. I was rising to the surface, floating upward through a velvet blackness. The wind hummed and hissed through the palms and occasionally made a low moan like a sick old man. The seething ocean relentlessly pounded the shore, matching the pulsating in my inner ear. Stars illuminated the sky like silver pinpricks. As my vision became clearer I could discern the silhouettes of fluttering palms overhead. I lifted my head and could see the faint luminescence of the foaming surf.

I had a hammering headache. Couldn’t move my arms or legs. Was securely tied to a long flat log which extended inside a crude thatched structure in the blackness behind me. My mouth was gagged so tightly I could taste blood seeping onto my tongue and the knot dug into the muscles at the back of my neck. To one side there were high stone walls snaking off into the murkiness.
  A tall fence to my right was crudely made of thick straight poles sharply pointed like a stockade. I could see the unmistakable shape of huge Ki’i figures standing nearby. Those intricately carved man-gods who were all growling teeth and huge head-dresses and represented former chiefs and kings of Hawaii. They were ten feet tall, menacing in the wildness of the night. Smaller primitive figures adorned posts beside them.
  I discerned another grass-roofed hut a few yards away. I was in some kind of Hawaiian display place. I pulled hard against my ropes, listened, heard nothing but the storming ocean and an irritated wind. A wisp of cool salt spray reached me.
  The knots were so tight at my wrists I had no room to even wiggle at them. Thought a few moments and realized where I was.


... from my novel A Place in the Sky  (Amason)                 © RC Westerholm









Vintage writing implements

When you imbued your emotions onto the page.

Was that Tennessee Williams sitting there on the beach amid the logs writing in longhand? His hair all mussed in the wind and a plaid scarf around his neck. No wonder he wrote so beautifully, he wasn't pressing hard to make 4 copies, he was thinking every word onto the page. His emotions flowing with the ink from his fountain pen. Life was more simple then, better. He might have been using a Sheaffer Gold Dot pen.

You too could look vulnerable at the beach with one of these, intensity on your brow yet a certain softness in your lip. A girl might watch you for an hour before magnetically approaching to remark on the crashing waves and the freshness of spring.

Make sure you don't answer her until clearing your thoughts, almost until she is about to wander away and then you say, asking her for an opinion on a thought ....

 "When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone."

Gawd, she wants you so bad she's almost crying! You're in, man! Don't dribble ink on your white flannel pants.






Wooden WWII Jeep   '46 Ford   1940s metal truck
Wooden Jeep circa 1940s
This is not your surfer dude's Yellow CJ, it's been around since the forties! All wood, including the wheels, large, about 16" long. Some parts missing, like the windscreen, but there was a war on then, what would you expect? I think this was the one Sean Connery rode in while making A Bridge Too Far.
          Okay okay, maybe not but it's neat.

I hear Ford might be going into bankruptcy?
Bad rumors? Well good actually, it might mean this brochure has huge future value for collectors of old auto brochures. Sort of like killing the artist.

What's new for 1946? I really like that column shift, don't you? And the Super Deluxe coupe is my fave.

Better than the '65 Mustang.

  1940s metal truck, hard rubber wheels, all working, press the little lever under the box to dump the load. They made lasting stuff in those days. What's left of the label on the front says - Another Ellwood Toy, Windsor, Can.
I still like it. It's about 15 inches long.

What else appeared in the forties?

  Jiminy Cricket, of course ...


... appearing in Disney's unforgettable Pinocchio in 1940. Voiced by Cliff Edwards singing,  "When You Wish Upon A Star"


Jeepers Creepers!




         ... and some of us bought those 46 Ford

                                     Superdeluxe business coupes


Recollections ....

Postcard collecting can be fun and interesting if the cards recall childhood memories.



    circa 1947 - Birch Bay Washington - No. it's not a set from Trailer Park Boys,  but a wonderful childhood memory, even on an allowance of 50 cents a day! You could rent a rubber raft or a bike for 25 cents an hour, or get lots of Fleers Double Bubble Gum for that. (and get a free cartoon about Pud) We chewed huge wads of gum for days, having to hide it at night, stuck under our bed so our Moms wouldn't throw it away.  That barn on the hill was a kids'  paradise!



     circa 1946 - 47 - Bay Center Resort where you rented a cabin by the water. Bonfires on the beach, weinie roasts and ghost stories at night. I had eyelashes burnt off more than once while perfecting my marshmallow toasting. The cabins were named after flowers, ours was always Canterbury Bells. Families would rent them in succession and come down for their holidays while many of the kids stayed all summer with whoever was there at the time!   





  This simple postcard was given by my Grandma, Jette, to her husband, Albert on April 24, 1903, his birthday, and expresses a tender thought that is a treasured insight into someone's feelings from so long ago - within the tiny attached envelope is a folded note to him, the writing in sepia ink in Norwegian reads

To my husband Happy Birthday! May your days be light and long. I wish you God's blessing on your day with a wish that I can be your help-mate with patience for the rest of our lives until the evening of life.

That's my wish, Your wife, Jette. 


This postcard is priceless! My Grandpa died without me meeting him, yet Gramma remains as an image of gentleness who transferred her caring feelings to me. A woman of love. 

 Don't discard these things, they have infinite value to the soul.








a brand new, old memory


Vilma9  Emma  VilmaYoung 
Vilma   Emma   Vilma

   Until a few days ago, November 2019, I had never laid eyes on my real Grandmother. Her name was Emma. A cousin in Norway sent me the picture, (thank you Erling)  She died when her twin daughters, Vilma and Olga, were just infants. My real Grandfather was a skipper on a ship and died at sea. The two sisters were placed with uncles on my Great Grandfather's farm near Bodø, Norway. There was also a brother Einar who died in the war of 1918. Eventually the sisters were separated and my mother was adopted to those mentioned in the above post, Albert and Jette Henriette. Who I had always referred to as my Grandmother and Grandfather.

   They migrated via steamship to Canada in 1920 when Vilma was nine and went on to Vancouver. I have the fragile doll she was allowed to bring with her. Despite being an orphan and torn away from her home and only sister. Vilma was an independent spirit and made good for herself and her life and provided for Jette until she died, as her Mom.

   Seeing Emma was very emotional for me as I realized that she never saw her little girl, my Mom (left) grow up at all or see the beautiful woman she became. (right) Life was so much harder in the past and it makes me wonder if those growing up today appreciate their lives and the resolve acquired from having tough times and separation from those loved. Some people surmount the challenges in their lives and 'make the best of it'. Sometimes resulting in treasured memories.

   Vilma was never told much about her family left behind in Norway, but always dreamed of a reunion with her sister. After a lifetime search, Vilma was able to find her twin still living in Norway and after over 72 years of being apart, was able to visit Olga in Bodø.  Olga was then not well and unable to appreciate her sister but Vilma fulfilled her dream of reuniting, if only for a short while.

   Even wispy tendrils of memory can be precious, ask questions about your family history, so you don't have to guess or imagine. It is important because it will shape your future.









Look At Me  


Look at me.

Over here, at the edge of the trail,

look what I’ve done.

Changed myself.

I’m the little red maple leaf on the ground. Among the broken twigs and damp brown earth.

Well, I’m not just red, I think I am scarlet, or carmine, no one wants to be - just red,

I am vermillion.

I left my tree yesterday. I was free on the wind for such a short time. But it was enough.

Some were already here waiting, daring to have gone first. Others still cling up there against a graying sky.

My whole life flashed in those seconds as I floated dizzily down.

I was so beautiful in the spring, a dainty innocent green furl surrendering to the lusty gaze of the sun. Young and soft and fuzzy, fluttering in the breeze, embracing the sky. I felt welcome in the world. And as I grew into a perfect green leaf I shielded that little wren so she could bring out her family. There was a picnic once below me. Children laughing. It made me proud they had picked my tangled tree. And lovers one time, at dusk in summer watching the glow of the sky fade into shadow. The twilight soft as their breathing.

I was mature by then. Able to sense the changes around me, knowing my three season life was unfolding.

Look at me. I still have a purpose. To nourish my tree as much as a grandmother nourishes her grandchildren even as she has passed. A memory of things. Like a natural traveler passing on the trail regards the view of my tree in autumn splendor and places it in his soul for feeding later.

 I have been part of that too.

Look at me,

I have been green. And orange and red.


I am.

Look at me.


red leaf

© 2008 RC Westerholm



The Leaves of memory seemed to make. A mournful rustling in the dark - Henry Wadsworth Longfellow






  Granville Street - 1950s           photographer unknown  (Fred Hertzog?)

    Granville Street - February 2008                         RC Westerholm


How to be mean to a collector: - give him two of anything.






   Metal worker - Made in Germany - US Zone    
Lil German metal worker, he's making something. Great mustache. The red piece goes up and down if the wheel is turned.
I think he's making a Mercedes out of old Messerschmitts or maybe an automated toilet plunger.  He had something in his hands once,
perhaps a bratwurst. It says on his pantcuff - Made in Germany U.S. zone - Terrific detail in the paint.
He's about 4 1/2 inches high.


                                  Lil Beaver Motor makes it make things.

Kewl shoes too!







Remember Foncie's Photos?

Where a guy standing on Granville Street snapped your pic? You could go by there later and look at it and buy one if you liked. Some even did. Even though they were being way too cool to smile for the camera. You dressed up to walk around. Life was serious then. Too bad we can't go back to that level of seriousness.

The smartest thing I ever did was marry that girl!


Can we store the glow of the sunset?

Can we memorize the touch of a hand?

Can we keep the gentle fire of a candle?

Can we save the feeling of a kiss?

Can we intertwine two spirits?

Can we capture it all in our hearts?

Yes we can ... it's called love.








Kodak Instamatic 104
Now this here is a prize. In the original box, containing a box of unopened film, original container, a flashcube, unwrapped original batteries, the original manual and the shiny Kodak 104 camera! With strap! What more do you need? Ansel Adams never had it so good.
A true collectors item for old camera buffs. Um ... I don't mean the buffs are old,  just the camera, er... on second thought, most of you old camera buffs aren't really buff anymore are you? Too much time in the darkroom.




Baseball Cards

Anybody still collect these after that Upper Deck rip-off a few years back where they printed thousands, held back thousands more for a higher price to release them later? Why couldn't you and I do the same thing? Ethics is why, I guess. Anyway, these are the real deal - Original baseball cards from 1951 Vancouver Capilanos, all black and white cards. These are from long before the card companies started keeping half their printing to rip off the collectors.
Some of these players were born in 1924! Chuck Abernathy, Jerry Barta, Pete Hernandez, Carl Gunnerson, Bob Snyder, Bill White, George Nicholas, Bob Duretto, a black man Jesse Williams probably among the first professionals after Jackie Robinson led the way! There's even one signed by Mrs Johnny Ritchie, how about that! (she was beautiful too)
They all played in Capilano Stadium in Vancouver, now Nat Bailey Stadium.

(We used to sit in the bleachers and make a nuisance of ourselves, smoking and running around bothering everyone else. )








remember Reddy Kilowatt?

He's still around on the old Inter-urban tram
station building at Pender and Carroll streets.
But alas, no one seems to be repairing him.



Tie pin 

Some of us even have the coveted Reddy tie clip



* Can you tell what is wrong with this picture?







Western Sports Centre Gym

If you look under the Smilin Buddha Cabaret sign, you'll notice the Western Sports Centre is there.  Located on Hastings Street just west of Main Street. I once wrestled for that club as a teenager in the Fifties. Larry Ross, George Bunka and Ralph Casperson were my instructors. Earl Kalani was the owner, a wonderfully pleasant Hawaiian who never pressured any of us young men for our monthly dues!  All the successful boxers of the day trained at Western too, The Walters, Len and Jim, Bill Brenner.  Buddy Pearson and many Golden Gloves Champions. Exhibition sparring matches often had crowds of cigar puffing Runyonesque characters in suits and cash betting on the outcomes. Hastings St. wasn't so bad then.

Nick Mohamed won the Mr. Pacific Coast body building title there.

But the basement weight room was the domain of  Doug Hepburn. Lifting hundreds of pounds and breaking world records even before he was our Olympic Gold medalist and became known as the World's Strongest Man! We delighted in being able to try our best to punch his stomach without breaking our wrists. Gentle Doug just smiled at our feeble attempts. But I did get him to sign the back of that picture. The sweat and aura and memories of the Western Sports Centre will remain vivid images forever.


photographer Fred Herzog

photographer unknown


More of the great Fred Herzog here






Memory of the party of a lifetime




The official song of Expo '86.  It was played before and throughout the fair during promotions,
advertising, and most notably, the nightly fireworks display.


with thanks to - A. Guy Nextdoor (Trev) for finding it, and making it into this video enhancement,
and Michael Koren for writing such a memorable and inspiring song.

Sung by:  Lisa Dalbello



Something's happening.
There's something in the air.
The world is spinning, a heartbeat faster.
Tomorrow's calling (can you hear it?)
to people everywhere
Reaching out to you and me -- The future's ours to share.

Set the world in motion.
Together we can catch a rising star.
We can touch tomorrow
Discovering the wonder in our minds and in our hearts.

Together we can touch the sky
Share our dreams and watch them fly
Celebrate it!
Something's happening.  Something's happening here.

Can you feel the magic?
Standing here together side by side
New ideas exploding
Touching every moment reaching all our lives.

Together we can touch the sky
Share our dreams and watch them fly
Celebrate it!
Something's happening.  Something's happening here.

And now the magic has begun.
The promise of tomorrow
Here for everyone.

(Something's happening, something's happening, something's happening....)
Can you see that the feeling's getting stronger
(...something's happening, something's happening, something's happening...)
reaching out -- touching you -- touching me.

Set the world in motion.
Together we can catch a rising star.
We can touch tomorrow
Discovering the wonder in our minds and in our hearts.

Together we can touch the sky
Share our dreams and watch them fly
Celebrate it!
Something's happening.  Something's happening here.


Written and composed by: Michael Koren
Produced by: Michael Koren & Wayne Kozak -- KOKO PRODUCTIONS 

Expo 86, Vancouver
  Expo 86, Vancouver, BC, Canada                  Friday, May 2 until Monday, October 13, 1986







 .... bygone days.

from Vilma Westerholm's (nee Andersen) autograph book in 1931, a common interest in those years
 of young girls to have friends write comments and remembrances in a book for the future.
Here are samples of artistic talent too ...

   artist - Kaye - Class 21 - March 1931
Vilma Andersen 1931 artist - Ina L - March 6, 1931

from teacher - Larry Fisher -1930

'The best of luck to a pupil who,
if sometimes a bit troublesome,
was always very likeable.'
  artist - Lilly Granberg

 the bow is actually a piece of silk
  written by my Father to my Mom in 1931.
May your love be pure,
Love only once and only one.
The beautiful memory will then follow you,
Untill the last days in your life.
Only once. And only one.

Life was more simple then.

Don't throw away old memories, they speak of hopes and dreams and give you insight into character.







Naughty Glasses.
All these sexy women are having a great time, turn the glass around and see their secret eroticism. Drink up, these are the reason all the ugly girls go home at 11:pm!  They are all sort of ethnic except the girl at the lamp post, she's kind of international!
This set of six 8 oz was made sometime around the Fifties. The girl at the lamp post was made throughout the fifties.
Careful though, display only, not suitable for use as the decals are aging and we wouldn't want these girls to become wrinkly, would we?







Remember these?



Big Little and Better Little books

They were full of adventure, intrigue, danger. Started in the early thirties and published for years. The drawing was expert for the time and the stories enrapturing. Red Rider and Little Beaver was one of my favorites. He was a tough cowboy sort of like a rough looking Randolph Scott. Smilin' Jack was great, full of action and Terry and the Pirates always seemed placed in dark underground passageways in China, with secret doors, and mysterious pigtailed Chinamen with dripping mustaches. Big Little books are pleasant to have around, mementoes of a more innocent time in spite of the threats of the evil bad guys. Some even had an insert cartoon in the top corner of each page and you could flip the pages quickly with your thumb and watch real animation!  We had Don Winslow of the Navy, Charlie Chan, The Lone Ranger and his Horse Silver (equal billing) , the Phantom, the Shadow , lil Orphan Annie  (arf! some even pencilled in pupils for Annie's eyes) and Smoky Stover. You still see them at garage sales and they're not too expensive to own and enjoy. Pick one up, they're a virtual literature history.  You might even get one with animation!







Peggy Lee - Why Don't You Do Right? - with Benny Goodman - 1943


These kinds of performances are no longer. Watch her eyes as she

makes contact with each one in her audience, even holding the flirtation

 to capture that person with her charm, then the smile establishing a special connection,

 an entre nous she enjoys as well, a memory to last a lifetime for the lucky one who shared.


A stage presence so rare today.


Miss Peggy Lee recorded more than 600 songs and wrote many others over 40 years,

including themes for such movies as "Johnny Guitar" and "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter."

Her return to recording in 1988 after a hiatus of more than a decade netted her a Grammy nomination

 for "Miss Peggy Lee Sings The Blues" in 1989.


Another Peggy Lee performance here -  Is that all there is?


Imaginations ....



Imagions ....


The old man sits on his porch, it needs painting. Maybe tomorrow. He takes in the morning sun, dreams of times when he was strong and ready to work. Young and vibrant. No job too daunting for his skills. No skills he couldn't learn. Memories. For now he enjoys the warmth of the weathered wood stair and his coffee ... She was sleek and beautiful, like a new Cadillac in creamy white and glinting chrome. She slipping away in silence, a glance back. He following, knowing she was the one, full of noise and bravado, but toned it down to show he could have finesse and tenderness too. She liked the strength of his hard physique, that she knew she could soften over time. He handsome in a blustery way ... Yet a perfect match, paired for a lifetime. Memories.
The coffee is cold, he drains it into the rose bush she had plamted by the stairs. It seems to grow better and blossoms well. Soft yellow petals too delicate for his rough fingers ... but he always picks them off the ground and arranges them on the porch as though she did ... just for a while.

Time lingers sometimes but smiles never fade in Memories.

Do you have warm memories of our 'Party-of-a-lifetime'? Check out this link -

Collecting things - stamps -

Wikipedia on collecting -

Big Little Books official website -



* What's wrong? - Inter-urban trams stopped running in 1958 -    - Canada's new flag first appeared in 1965.


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All photos and writing © RC Westerholm - published through Masalla Galleries and Masalla Galleries Graphics

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